Illinois Bans Leaving Idling Cars Untended as Thefts Increase in Winter

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Courtesy of Don Harder (Flickr CC0)

Leaving a car idle has only one benefit which is to warm up the inside for comfort. However, it is not necessary to warm up the engine, using lightweight oil flows immediately in modern vehicles. Moreover, leaving the engine running could attract car thieves.

Idling a vehicle burns fossil fuels which are harmful to the environment and increase breathing problems. The fumes cars emit are not filtered well by a person’s lungs or plants. Cars with normal wear and tear have leaks that damage the pavement and cause slip points. These fluids are dangerous because they harm plant life and if it seeps into sewer and water systems these chemicals are difficult to filter out.

Children may be tempted to bother the car, by either shifting it out of park or driving off altogether. This also leads to other potential rolling or sliding hazards, due to weather conditions. Icy conditions can cause the tires to easily slide across slick streets, which could kill or seriously hurt passers-by.

Courtesy of Simon Clancy (Flickr CC0)

Vehicle theft is one of the reasons why it is illegal in Illinois to leave running cars unattended. Citizens who leave their cars running and untended will be in violation of municipal code. Drivers are not allowed to leave their car without turning the engine off, applying the brakes, and turning the wheels toward the curb.

However, if a vehicle is equipped with a remote start then it is acceptable to leave it running in Illinois because the key is not in the ignition and in the start position.

This year so far there have been over 8,000 motor vehicle thefts. The Chicago Police Department notifies communities of carjacking trends where ignored cars are being stolen. Some of them are used in connection with murders.

Earlier this year, a 19-year-old male was arrested after an attempted murder had taken place. The suspect was in possession of a stolen car as the getaway vehicle.

Written by Darryl Robinson
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware

NBC Chicago: Is It Illegal to Warm Up Your Car in Illinois?
Fox 32 Chicago: Chicago man, 19, charged with attempted murder, driving a stolen vehicle

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Don Harder’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Simon Clancy’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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